Best Shop Vac Reviews Ratings – Compact & Portable 2018
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- Quick Shop Vac Comparison
- Compact Shop Vac Comparison
- Rigid WD1270 12 Gallon Peak 5HP Wet/Dry Vaccum
- Vacmaster 12 Gal. Wet/Dry Vacuum
- Shop-Vac 5986000 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
- Craftsman XSP 20 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP wet/dry Shop Vac/blower
- Dustless 16006 HEPA Wet/Dry Vacuum
- Armor All Wet/Dry 2.5 Gal. Vacuum
- Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac
- Ridgid Wet/Dry Vac4000
- WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Vacuum 4-Gallon
- RIDGID 50318 4500RV ProPack Wet/Dry Vacuum 4.5 Gallons
- Shop Vac Buyer's Guide
We’ve gone through pages and pages of different reviews for some of the biggest names in the market for shop vacs to give you all an extensive list of the best portable wet-dry shop vacs and showcase what you need to know about capacity, power, design, filters, and attachments.
Quick Shop Vac Comparison
|5 hp||5.5 hp
|Lifetime Warranty||2 Year||4 Year||3 Year||1 year|
|12 Gallons||12 Gallons||8 Gallons||16 Gallons||16 Gallons|
|Wet/dry Vac||Wet/dry Vac||Wet/dry Vac||Wet/dry Vac||HEPA Filter Wet/dry|
|Ratings: 4.7||(Great Value)
|Ratings: 4.8||Ratings: 4.6|
Compact Shop Vac Comparison
||Shop Vac Micro
|2 hp||5 hp
|2 Year Warranty||2 Year||Lifetime||5 Year Limited||Lifetime|
|2.5 Gallons||1 Gallon||4 Gallons||4 Gallons||4.5 Gallons|
|Wet/dry Vac||Wet/dry Vac||Wet/dry Vac||Wet/dry Vac||Wet/dry Vac|
|Ratings: 4.4||(Editors Pick)
|Ratings: 4.8||Ratings: 4.7|
Rigid WD1270 12 Gallon Peak 5HP Wet/Dry Vaccum
Here is the RIGID 12 gallon high-performance wet/dry vac that is medium sized but with rugged durability. Designed for the DIYers and pro’s for the job site cleanup with its 5.0 peak horsepower motor and its ultimate suction power. 12-gallon drum is compact enough for easy storage.
Top Rigid Shop Vac Questions & Answers
A – It doesn’t have rotating brushes that are needed to get dirt deep within the carpet fibers. A vacuum made for cleaning carpets is a better choice.This model will clean carpets but not the best choice.
Q – Can I use this shop vac bagless or are the paper filters required?
A – It can be used bagless, but it’s less convenient when you go to clean out the vacuum. To save some money on the filters just tap the dirt out of the paper filter with a stick or a ruler to extend the lifespan in-between replacing. Again, the filter is optional.
Q – Can this be used to collect dust if I attach a sander?
A – Yes! With the correct hose adaptor. However, the filter will clog up quickly.
Vacmaster 12 Gal. Wet/Dry Vacuum
Here is the Vacmaster 12 Gallon, 5 Peak HP, Wet/Dry Vacuum with Detachable Blower, VBV1210 that delivers users with power for the messiest cleanups to surface inside your home. 210 MPH blowing speed combined with 5 horsepower motor equals unstoppable wet and dry vacuum to leave your home and job sites spot-free.
Top Vacmaster Questions & Answers
A – Yes. The model number is PE401
Q – Can the Vacmaster clean carpets?
A – It can drain the water out of the carpet but since it has no brushes to clean carpet from dirt and debris.
Q – Can filter bags be used with this model?
A – Yes. The filter bag model number is VBV1210
Shop-Vac 5986000 5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
Here is the Shop-Vac 5986000 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum designed for demanding on the job cleanups. It comes with a 10-inch wet/dry nozzle, crevice tools, cartridge filter, collection bag, and more.
Top Shop-Vac Questions & Answers
A – Yes. You can dry vac but use the bag for cleaning up dust, so it doesn’t blow everywhere.
Q – Will a 2.5″ hose be able to attach to this shop vac?
A – With the correct hose adaptor, yes of course!
Q – Can the filter be reusable?
A – Yes! Just blow out the debris and dust with an air hose.
Craftsman XSP 20 Gallon 6.5 Peak HP wet/dry Shop Vac/blower
Here is the Craftsman XSP 20 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac designed to handle some of the most demanding cleanup jobs at the shop, job site, or home. It can power through metal shards, clearing drywall chunks, wood chunks, sawdust and much more. Any floods in the basement from a severe storm? The Craftsman XSP will get the job done and soak up all of the water.
Top Craftsman XSP Sop Vac Questions & Answers
A – No. Not too heavy at all even with attachments onboard.
Q – What is the cleaning reach?
A – Over 27 ft. 7’ x 2-1/2 In. Secure Fit Hose, 20’ Power Cord, and Two Extension Wands.
Q – Can it be used as a blower?
A – Yes! It converts to a blower.
Dustless 16006 HEPA Wet/Dry Vacuum
Here is the Dustless Technologies 16006 HEPA Wet/Dry Vacuum that can last 30 times longer when used in conjunction with a Micro Pre-filter. Users can go back and forth between wet and dry mode without the need to change filters. It is less noisy than many other comparable shop vacs emitting just 81 decibels of noise.
Top Dustless Shop Vac Questions & Answers
A – No.
Q – Is the HEPA filter included?
A – You get one HEPA filter, filter cover, and a bag.
Armor All Wet/Dry 2.5 Gal. Vacuum
Here is the Armor All 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum, AA255 utility wet dry vac that is ready for many dry and wet pickup and loaded with all of the necessary cleaning accessories for interior cleaning for homes and cars. It can also convert into a convenient blower quickly with an automatic shut off to avoid any overflow.
Top Armor All Vac Questions & Answers
A – Pretty good! It can suction up pretty much anything aside from some pet hair caught in carpet fibers.
Q – What attachments do you get with this wet/dry vac?
A – Pretty much everything you could need to clean stairs, cars, etc., it has a 2-in-1 utility nozzle, a crevice tool, a deluxe car nozzle, a blower nozzle, and a detail brush.
Q – Does the cord have two prongs or three?
A – It has two prongs.
Q – Does this model have wheels?
A – No, but it is easily portable and weighs less than most wet/dry vacuums.
Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac
Here is the Shop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry Vac that is incredibly portable and lightweight ideal for pick up jobs in the garage, workshop, vehicles, and the home. Compact and easy to store with the wall bracket and wall mount for keeping tools and accessories together and organized. Includes filter bag, crevice tool, 4×1-1/2.” hose.
Top Shop-Vac Questions & Answers
A – Yes.
Q – Is there a cartridge filter for this model instead of the foam sleeve, or filter or bag paper that fits over the sleeve?
A – It has a foam sleeve and a bag, the paper bag filter that fills up for dry and then needs to be removed the bag for wet.
Q – Can I plug this into my truck?
A – It doesn’t have the 12v capability, so no.
Ridgid Wet/Dry Vac4000
Here is the Ridgid Wet/Dry Vac4000 that is small and compact for convenient user portability with an impressive 5-peak horsepower for a little vacuum. Less is more in regards to this powerful wet and dry vacuum. The 20 ft. cord and 7 ft. hose allows for better reach and increases productivity for many jobs. It’s ready to take on a lot of demanding cleanup jobs.
Top RIDGID Wet/Dry Vac Questions & Answers
A – No louder than other vacuums but definitely not quiet.
Q – Does it have a muffler?
A – Yes.
Q – Will this vacuum require the use of a bag?
A – No. Just dump out the debris or rinse out the tank when using the wet mode.
WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Vacuum 4-Gallon
Here is the WORKSHOP Wet Dry Vac WS0400VA Portable Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner, 4-Gallon Small Shop Vacuum Cleaner, 5.0 Peak HP Portable Vacuum that holds a lot of power inside a compact body. Designed with a flat-bottom to enhance stability to avoid tipping over. Easy to carry with its large carrying handle increasing user portability and stores away neatly due to its compact size.
Top WORKSHOP Wet Dry Questions & Answers
A – The dry filter is designed to stop particles from passing through the system. However, the dry filter is not intended to prevent liquids or vapors from squeezing past. So, unless you want a wet mess in the room, you do need a “wet” filter.
Q – What type of filter does it need to vacuum up liquids?
A – A foam filter.
Q – Is the vacuum loud?
A – Yes. A bit louder than most vacuums but it comes with a lot of power for demanding jobs so a bit noise comes with the territory.
RIDGID 50318 4500RV ProPack Wet/Dry Vacuum 4.5 Gallons
Here is the RIDGID 4500RV wet/dry vacuum with 5 peak horsepower inside a clever looking toolbox that is incredibly portable for many job sites that contractors, pros, homeowners will love due to its industrial strength. Quickly converts to a blower for removing leaves from the deck, walkway, etc. or anywhere that has excess debris. The sturdy 1-7/8″ hose is ultra-flexible locking, so it won’t pull loose when in use.
Top RIDGID Wet/dry Vac Questions & Answers
A – In regards to the specs and many of the product reviews it seems that the WD4522 model is more lightweight and portable whereas the WD4500 designed of thicker material. The on/off switch on the 4522 vacuum sticks out a bit while the 4500 model is more flush.
Q – What is the voltage input?
A – 110v.
Q – Is this a loud vacuum?
A – It’s much smaller than other vacuums while still providing a lot of power and with that power comes some noise. Definitely quieter than a large vacuum.
Shop Vac Buyer’s Guide
Every busy job site or home will appreciate the addition of a powerful wet dry vac. It sure comes in handy with those large messy spills or when a tough job got saw dust everywhere. Whatever the reason for needing a wet dry vac do make sure the one you purchase has all of the features to get the most out of your hard earned cash while being ergonomic and portable. Here is our shop vac buyer’s guide to help you learn the basics.
What The Best Wet Dry Vacs Should Have
Long Power Cord: A generously sized power cord that gives the operator more reach for larger spaces is highly significant. There are some wet dry vacs that use a wall-mount with a short hose of 5 ft. while larger models come loaded with a much longer 20 ft. + length.
Long Hose: Just like a long power cord is beneficial the longer the hose the longer the cleaning reach. A mid-large range hose can be 7ft. – 10 ft. in length whereas portable and a wall-mount vac has hoses as long as 20 ft. – 32 ft.
Onboard Storage: Having a vacuum with storage for cord wraps, hoses, and accessories can be important in keeping the vacuum attachments organized and neatly tucked away. However, many tool caddies are not fitted correctly so be sure to read consumer reviews.
Quiet Operation: The quieter the vacuum, the pricier it will be, so if your model isn’t as quiet we suggest wearing ear protection at 85 decibels if you’re using the vacuum on a regular basis.
Drain Valve (or Spout): The drain valve feature is convenient to have instead od removing the vacuum lid to tip the tank over to drain the liquids it picked up. It can get pretty heavy depending on the gallon size and the liquid mess that was just picked up and a drain plug will be ideal.
Large Capacity: When you’re looking to clean wood chips, drywall chunks or anything heavy and messy seeks out wet dry vacs that have a 16 – 20-gallon capacity where anything less will involve a lot of liquid draining in-between cleanups. But if the vacuum is needed for household or cleaning the interior of a car 5-6 gallons will suffice.
Wide Hose Diameter: Anything less tan 2.25″ to 2.5″ tends to clog, so it is advised that you go for the widest hose. However, if this shop vac is for use along with power tools, you will need a small hose that will be flexible and adapts to dust ports on power tools. Workshops should use a tool-triggered shop vacuum for the collection of dust and for cleaning other debris.
Wide Vacuum Wheels: A wide set of wheels and a low profile will help reduce, if not prevent, tipping. Highly convenient when you’re expected to haul the wet dry vac up and down flights of stairs and look for the models with large back wheels as they’re easier to use.
What You Need to Consider Before Buying A Vac
Along with looking for a wet dry vac with the best features possible there are a few more things to consider before choosing a vacuum.
Air Quality: If you want to reduce the dust pollution in your workshop or home get a shop vac with the HEPA filter that is also compatible with dust collector bags that will result in a better filtration of smaller airborne particles.
Liquid Frequency: If the vacuum is meant solely to clean up water and other liquid messes invest in a strong pump as one of the vacuum accessories.
Blower: Do you want a wet dry back that can convert into a blower? If yes, keep in mind that vacuums that turn to a blower tend to expel more dust and are a lot louder than standard wet dry vacs.